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Well, Shucks, The Iraqis Want A Timetable

July 9, 2008

-First, the story: Iraq Wants Withdrawal Timetable In U.S. Pact

-Second, the obligatory memeorandum link to the discussion.

My initial thought when I saw this headline was… “duh!”.  I mean, anyone could have seen this coming from a mile away.  For years, poll after poll after poll indicated that the Iraqi people wanted this.  Heck, the Iraqi parliament voted in favor of a timetable over a year ago. 

My second thought basically revolved around wondering how the “timetable for surrender“, “cut and run” and “retreat and defeat” crowd will cope with this revelation.  Will we see the equivalent of “we know what’s best for you” type rhetoric?   After all, that’s basically how a stubborn insistence on rejecting an agreement to set dates will come across.  Kind of a tough spot there.  So if they don’t go down that road, will they take the lead from General Petraeus, and begin to use the term “disengagement” instead of “withdrawal”?  After all, the former sounds like the result of a well-thought-out and tactically sound cost/benefit analysis, and the latter sounds more like the “run for your lives!” stuff.  That might serve as a pressure relief valve for the cognitive dissonance.  Or will they spin it as consistent with their stance, and creatively conflate “they stand up, we stand down” with the news, sweeping the “timetable” part under the rug?  (Oops, asked and answered.)    And in light of this little nugget…

“There should not be any permanent bases in Iraq unless these bases are under Iraqi control”, Rubaie said

 

 

 …do you suppose their might be a revision to the idea that it is at all plausible that we’ll have a violence-free troop presence in Iraq for 100 years, just like Japan, Germany, and South Korea?

Or do they just sit there like a deer in the headlights?

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16 comments

  1. Actually, the claim that the Iraqi government is just posturing isn’t really all that far out there.

    They have to try and project their strength and leadership by saying this because they know there is a good chance that Obama will win the election and remove the troops. They can’t look like they need us to their people or neighbors when this happens.

    Notice there are no timeframes to accompany the talk of timetables. Only “impatiently waiting.”

    President Bush told them how to get us out any time they want. “If they were to say, ‘Leave,’ we would leave.”

    I don’t hear them saying “leave.”


  2. I also find it curious that “poll after poll after poll” find that the Iraqis want us out, but we never see any of them publically protesting that they want us out.

    Our own people do it. It is certainly the Iraqi people’s right to do it. That is part of the gift we have given them. And they are certainly aware of the political pressure such an act would place on our leaders to get us out, regardless of what their leaders wanted.

    If these folks really wanted us out we wouldn’t need polls to tell us, they would tell us themselves.


  3. If these folks really wanted us out we wouldn’t need polls to tell us, they would tell us themselves.

    Well, there’s the polls, along with, you know, 5 years of roadside bombs and all that.

    Do you have some reason to believe that they really want us there indefinitely, that I’m not aware of? They really dig the idea of permanent bases?


  4. The same week back in 07 that the Iraqi Legislators were “drafting” the pullout vote.

    Iraq’s national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, was in Washington this week to ask Democratic members of Congress to have patience with the “surge” and not abandon Iraq at such a precarious time.

    From you…

    Well, there’s the polls, along with, you know, 5 years of roadside bombs and all that.

    WOW that’s a cheap shot. The road side bombs as well as the marketplace bombs, here a bomb ,there a bomb over the past 5 years have little to do with the Iraqi population except when the blast destroys their homes and the shrapnel rips through their flesh.Those bombs are from the enemies of the Iraqi people.
    I am willing to lay out two guarantees for you. One the “timetable” is the way the Iraqi’s can spin the whole renewal of forces in their country.Pretty much what RedPill said. Number 2 there will be bases in Iraq,they’ll be permanent,they’ll be more like the bases in England not Germany and Japan.They’ll be partnerships just like the oil deal Iraq will very soon finalize.


  5. “Well, there’s the polls, along with, you know, 5 years of roadside bombs and all that.”

    Chen, when I said “those people,” I meant Iraqis. Not Iraqis AND Iranians AND Syrians AND Saudi Arabains AND Egyptians AND…. Not to mention, I doubt the people who took part in those actions represent the majority of the Iraqi people. Do you believe differently?

    “Do you have some reason to believe that they really want us there indefinitely, that I’m not aware of? They really dig the idea of permanent bases?”

    Yes. Because they have said as much just 2 weeks ago:

    When asked how long he would like to see U.S. troops there, Talabani deferred to U.S. leaders and their Iraqi counterparts. But, he added that the stability of the country is reliant upon a U.S. presence.

    “We have good success and achievements in training our Army and our police forces,” Talabani said in heavily-accented English. We still “need to have [an] American presence in Iraq… We need to have some — at least some — military bases as a symbol for preventing others [from] interfering [in the] internal affairs of Iraq.”

    McCain interjected with his thoughts on the progress thus far and the calls for a date for withdrawal. “We will not have a date set certain for withdrawal, which would then lead, in my view, to increased Iranian influence, possible loss of the fragile successes we’ve made, chaos in the region and possibly a wider war,” he said.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/06/28/mccain-meets-with-iraqi-president/

    This is nothing but politics. The Iraqis play the game like anyone else.


  6. Wow Chen. You really are a copperhead shill. I can’t believe you would make the statement that those bombs represent the will of the Iraqi people. You partisan pricks are all the same (left and right). Every world event is simple fodder for blogger spin. I don’t know your background, but I now can GARUNTEE you have never been to Iraq. Even your sarcastic tone about the IEDs irritates me. As if the guys back there who were killed, died as illicit occupiers.

    Dude. Get a clue. The surge worked. The Sunni elders turned on Al Queda. Sadre is being politically outflanked. While the Iraqi government is certainly posturing for political reasons, this is still a step in the right direction. All of it is very good news.

    The Bush administration should start playing the “game” and begin negotiations. Another poster made a great point, we weren’t told to leave. It’s just time for discussion about withdrawal.

    I think the thing that scares me more about the extreme left is how quick you guys get manipulated by bad guys. F.A.R.C., Venezuela, Al Queda, you almost become mouth pieces for their causes. The extreme right makes ignorant statements about Tella Tubbies and Catholics. Stupid, but ultimately benign.

    If Obama wins, I will support him until I see reason not to. If McCain wins, I will support him until I see reason not to. Can you say the same Chen?


  7. Chenster,

    You’re being played on this one. You need to remove the tin foil and get your head back in the game. No less than ABC, hardly a neocon newstation, said last night that this was simple posturing by Iraqi leadership. Haven’t you figured out yet that the Middle East is managed by bravado? How many more Baghdad Bob’s do we need for you lefties to understand?

    While I have little doubt the Iraqis would like us to leave as we would like to leave them, pragmatic folks recognize that a slow “withdrawal” if that word pleases you is the best strategy. I think it important to make sure Iraq stable before we just “take a vacation?”

    I guess you’ve missed the news the last year? Al-Qaeda, those choir boys you insist turned killers because of George Bush, have been decimated in Iraq – not that the point is important, or anything. Even your savior Obamaist is changing his tune just as I predicted about Iraq. Running to the center to get elected.

    P.S. – Remember you heard about old Trinity Church first from me and their Afro-centric nature and how that would become news? Well, here’s prediction #2. Wait until middle class America gets a load of Obamaist’s economic persuasions…we’ll see if he can lie his way out of that predicament.


  8. uh…..well….i will steal Chen’s thunder and point out that the Oklahoma City bombing wasn’t too benign. God, that feels like along time ago….


  9. Deadrabbit,

    If Obama wins, I will support him until I see reason not to. If McCain wins, I will support him until I see reason not to. Can you say the same Chen?

    Though I am sure a rhetorical question to which the answer is already all too obvious, if the ChenZhen crowd were to be fair and consistent in their assessments, that is who is evil and who are the opppressed victim, they would blame Bill Clinton and Janet Reno for the OKC bombing; being that McVeigh did state that his motivation mainly due to the Waco fiasco two years earlier to the day.

    Sane people, on the other hand, simply thought McVeigh a delusional and dangerous nut deserving of the chair – and Waco a convenient excuse for his hatred, no matter their political persuasion.

    And you’re right. I was there just hours after the OKC bombing. Though the following days were surreal for me seeing the horror first hand and the feeling of dread stuck for sometime thereafter, that does seem a lifetime ago. My how times have changed.


  10. Well, I seem to have struck a nerve there. Sorry about that. But I stand by what I said. I think one of the reasons why we’ve encountered so much resistance in Iraq for so long is precisely because Bush as been so opposed to a timetable. It creates the impression that we stay there for nefarious reasons and with ulterior motives, and that we have no intention to leave when asked, especially considering what must be a very confusing rationale for why we are there in the first place.

    So, they appear to be testing that at this point, and the ball is now in our court. What to do now?

    And I can agree to a certain extent that the higher level Iraqi political leaders are playing politics. I suppose they’re going to do things to remain in power with their heads still attached, so they’d need us Americans to cover their asses, and say things back home that might look like they’re playing both sides. But aren’t you guys really saying that I’m right, and insisting on a timetable is a populist move?

    Re: the surge. Just let me know when a “green zone” is no longer needed.


  11. ChenZhen,
    I think we’ll see efforts to discredit the Iraqi government as being out of touch if they are bullish on McCain, on the other hand if a conservative thinks Obama might win, then it becomes spin control mode. Namely pretending the Iraqis already are standing up enough for us to stand down.

    theredpill, perhaps they are not out protesting due to the country being in a massive state of violent strife?

    The Iraqis have been saying “Leave!” for a while, Bush’s statement was just an empty soundbite.


  12. @Chen: “But aren’t you guys really saying that I’m right, and insisting on a timetable is a populist move?”

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I wasn’t saying that. I am saying that the Iraqi government is posturing for what they feel is an eventual Obama victory that will remove the force that currently helps to project their strength against potential foreign and domestic threats. In order for them to sell it, they need to give the impression that they can get along without us, and that is done by this “when are you leaving?” attitude.

    If removing us was really their “impatient” goal, then this “playing both sides” is only prolonging it. Which is likely their real aim. They are biding their time to see what happens with our election. December comes right after November.

    @Dan: “theredpill, perhaps they are not out protesting due to the country being in a massive state of violent strife?”

    Or perhaps they are too busy forming heavy metal bands and pimping their rides.

    Iraq isn’t perfect, but we aren’t seeing a “massive state of violent strife” anymore.


  13. Chen, there seems to have been a mistranslation. The BBC is reporting that the line being attributed to Malaki:

    “the direction is towards either a memorandum of understanding on their evacuation, or a memorandum of understanding on a timetable for their withdrawal” is
    not what he in fact said.

    The BBC reports:

    ‘In an audio recording of his remarks, heard by the BBC, the prime minister did not use the word “withdrawal”.

    What he actually said was: “The direction is towards either a memorandum of understanding on their evacuation, or a memorandum of understanding on programming their presence.”‘

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7504571.stm

    But there’s plenty of political posturing going on over there, too.

    Don’t feel bad, Obama made the same oopsie in his oped today in the NYTs:

    “The call by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of American troops from Iraq presents an enormous opportunity. We should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States.”

    Whoops.


  14. I don’t really see that as a “whoops” Deb.

    Contacted by the BBC, the prime minister’s office had no explanation for the apparent contradiction. An official suggested the written version remained the authoritative one, although it is not what Mr Maliki said.

    In context, “programming their presence” certainly wouldn’t mean increasing the troops levels, so we’re left to conclude that he’s talking about putting a gameplan together to decide the nature and capacity that the US troops serve as they’re phased out. It’s not unreasonable to assume the gameplan includes dates.


  15. Read the line again, Chen.

    They want an “understanding on their evacuation” OR an “understanding on programming their presence.”

    If we could naturally make your assumption, then wouldn’t the wording be “AND”? Or why even have that second part at all, if it only reiterates the first?

    And of course, Obama has to get this in. “…begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated…”

    Yes, the redeployment you have advocated since 2006, which would have never allowed us to make the gains we have made in stabalizing Iraq. Keep refining, man. You might get it right one of these times.


  16. We’re already starting to remove the “Surge” brigades. The Iraqis are currently engaged in renegotiating the “permission slip” for US/coalition forces being present.
    If I could interject an interesting article. For my side and perhaps RP paras 4&5 are money. For CZ 1,2&3 helps. I offer this as a Yank but also as someone honestly hoping to share some info down the middle and providing something by doin so.
    A little background the author is from a party with the second or third most seats in the IP although they are half the size of #1.They are elementally not pro US but are not heinous given they are pro Iraq.(as opposed to pro Iran or divided Iraq)
    Oh yeah the article



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